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Thread: fog horn sound melting my sanity-HELP!!

  1. #1

    Question fog horn sound melting my sanity-HELP!!

    I must preface this with the statement that I am a new homeowner and know next to nothing of plumbing repair. I have been experiencing a fog horn like sound from the walls (thinking the pipes) for about a week. Sounds change in frequency, volume and length. For the last two days or so, the sound has been occurring every 3-4 minutes and lasts around 5-10 seconds. I have tried shutting water off to each toilet and faucet with no result. I have tried running water from all faucets/bathtubs for more than an hour with no results. I noticed that water is coming out of one toilet tank slowly leaking into toilet bowl. Need to change rubber stopper and maybe fill valve-although I shut water off to this toilet at the angle stop, the sound continues. I was thinking if this leak was the issue, shutting the water off to the toilet in question would solve problem but it hasnt. I live in townhome and really cant tell which side the sound is coming from, so possibly could be neighbors but I dont know which one. I would appreciate any advice. BTW: sounds dont correlate to flushing toilet, turning on faucet etc. Just seems to occur every 3-4 minutes. Doubt if neighbors are using toilet or turning on faucet every 3=4 minutes.
    Last edited by scott41; 12-29-2008 at 07:04 PM. Reason: additional info

  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    New England


    If the shutoff for that toilet is an older, multi-turn valve, even when off, it could be leaking. Toilets and valves can make some funny noises. If you flush the toilet with the valve off, does it refill eventually?

    If you have more than one toilet, do you have the shutoff valves fully open?
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  3. #3
    DIY Senior Member gardner's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007


    Quote Originally Posted by scott41 View Post
    Doubt if neighbors are using toilet or turning on faucet every 3=4 minutes.
    But it could be neighbour's toilet flapper leaking. Have you talked to your neighbours about the noise? They may know exactly what it is.

    My bet is that it is in fact a toilet. If the noise comes every few minutes, you should be able to localize its source some. Try taking the cover off the toilet tank and just watching for 5 mins to see if the level is going up/down and whether the fill valve makes the noise in question.

    You might be able to minimize or eliminate the noise by installing a hammer arrestor somewhere -- if it turns out to be something beyond your direct control such as a neighbour's toilet.

  4. #4


    Where do you live?

    It could be a foghorn you know.

  5. #5


    to jadnashua: When the valve is on, water visably (and slowly) leaks out of tank down the backside of the bowl. When i flush the toilet with the valve off, it does not refill. I have three toilets and have shut valves off to each one at a time w/ no success. I have since reopened them fully. I know it might be neighbor, but wanted to try everything I could in my place before talking w/ her. Thanks for your reply!

  6. #6
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005


    It may be and I would closely look at 3 things...a pressure reducing valve if you have one, your water meter if it is inside the house, or the toilet. The toilet includes the stop, supply line, and fill valve...I have had all of the above mentioned items cause niose...water constantly flowing from tank to bowl would be the flapper in need of replacement long as the water in the tank is not overflowing into the over flow tube...
    Last edited by Cass; 12-30-2008 at 03:28 AM.

  7. #7

    Default Problem solved

    To all: Problem solved and my sanity saved. It was the neighbors toilet!! Thanks to all who tried to help me. Scott


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